France became the latest scene where a terrorist professing to be Islamic committed an act of violence. He did so by stabbing a French soldier in the neck. The soldier lost a lot of blood, but is expected to recover from the attack. Immediately, questions were raised if this attack was linked to the recent killing of a soldier in London.
Unlike the bloody recent incident where a British soldier was beheaded by two meat cleaver wielding Islamic terrorists near London’s Woolwich army barracks, this terrorist was armed with only a box knife. Whether he was attempting to be a copycat, had links with the terrorists in London, or had planned to commit his criminal act before the Woolwich murder is not yet known.
The stabbing of the French soldier in the neck occurred in a busy commercial district outside Paris yesterday. Private First Class Cedric Cordier was approached from behind and he was stabbed in the neck with a small-bladed knife.
According to a police account, the lone attacker was described as a young man wearing a Muslim prayer cap and a North African-style robe called a jellabah. Security cameras monitored his activities, and he was seen shedding his robe and fleeing in European clothes before disappearing into the crowd in a subway and train entrance.
In a televised statement from Ethiopia, President Francois Hollande, on a state visit, urged security authorities to “look at all the possibilities” as they investigate the assault.
French President Francois Hollande said the attacker’s identity, who escaped, was as yet unverified. Hollande cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the assault on the uniformed soldier in the La Defense shopping area. The life of the 23-year-old soldier was not in danger, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The French soldier was on a group patrol. The patrol was a part of a national protection program. Prosecutor Robert Gelli told Europe 1 radio that he was attacked from behind, and that the attacker did not say a word.
In a report on France 2 television, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said: “There are elements — the sudden violence of the attack — that could lead one to believe there might be a comparison with what happened in London. But at this point, honestly, let us be prudent.”
When he first received word of the London attack, Prime Minister David Cameron was in France meeting with President Hollande. Ever since France launched a military intervention in the African nation of Mali in January to regain territory seized by Islamic radicals, French security forces have been on heightened alert.
Following its military intervention in Mali in January, which prompted threats against French interests from AQIM, the North African wing of al Qaeda, France has been on high alert for attacks by Islamist militants.
A video on YouTube warning of future attacks was published only few weeks before armed gunmen this week attacked a military base and a French uranium extraction site in the central African state of Niger, killing 24 soldiers and one civilian.
According to Vallis, France would keep its current terror alert level at “red, reinforced”, one step down from “scarlet.” The scarlet level is only activated in case of a serious and confirmed attack.
Three French paratroopers were killed just last year by a man police described as a French-born Islamic extremist. The man then went on to kill four more people when he attacked a Jewish school in the south of France.
Just this last Wednesday, British soldier Lee Rigby, 25, was viciously stabbed on a London street in broad daylight in a suspected terrorist attack that has raised fears of potential copycat strikes. Rigby was attacked while walking outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in the Woolwich area of south London.
The pair of Islamic terrorists commanded onlookers to record their gruesome actions on their cellphones. Soon afterwards, the video emerged worldwide in which one of the two suspects, his hands covered with the blood of the British soldier, his eyes filled with hate, spoke with pride about the murder he’d just committed.
He also warned of more violence as the soldier lay on the ground. The suspects were soon advanced upon by the police, who shot them in their legs and arrested them.
In the video, one of the suspects declared, “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you … We must fight them as they fight us.”
The suspect in the Woolwich video has since been identified by two Muslim hard-liners as Michael Adebolajo. He was a Christian who had converted to Islam. Adebolajo had attended several London demonstrations which were organized by the banned British radical group al-Muhajiroun.
Written by: Douglas Cobb